Conference Paper

Evolution of understandability in OSS projects

Dipt. di Autom. e Inf., Politecnico di Torino, Italy
DOI: 10.1109/CSMR.2004.1281406 Conference: Software Maintenance and Reengineering, 2004. CSMR 2004. Proceedings. Eighth European Conference on
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT Empirical papers on open source software should try and formulate reasons for successes as Linux, Apache and some other flagship projects. What we need to understand about this topic is on the process of producing software through cooperation of different efforts. Albeit many success reasons for these projects are inherently due to the application domain that the project develops, architectural and conceptual views of the code have to be considered as key factors when considering community efforts and joint decisions. We focus our attention on what is perceived of a source code when investigating its structure. We do this considering that structure as a proxy for the conceptual architecture of the application. A metric is developed based on some current assumptions, and it is tested over a sample of open source projects. What is interesting to note, is that refactoring efforts are clearly visible when intended as reduction of complexity of source code. Our second observation is that, based on what an open source software currently does, i.e. its application domain, there's a threshold value that several projects tend to.

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    ABSTRACT: For real-world software to remain satisfactory to its stake- holders requires its continual enhancement and adaptation. Acceptance of this phenomenon, termed software evolution, as intrinsic to real world software has led to an increasing interest in disciplined and systematic planning, management and improvement of the evolution process. Al- most all of the previous work on software evolution has been concerned with the evolution of large scale real-world software systems developed within a single company using traditional management techniques, or with the large scale open source software systems (LSOSSS). However, there is to our knowledge little or no work that has considered small scale open source software systems (SSOSSS). This paper presents an analysis of the evolution behavior of two small size open source software systems, the Barcode Library and Zlib. Surprisingly, unlike large scale open source software systems, the evolution behavior of these small size open source software systems appears to follow Lehman's laws for software evolution.
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    ABSTRACT: The Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) research community is growing across and within multiple disciplines. This community faces a new and unusual situation. The traditional difficulties of gathering enough empirical data have been replaced by issues of dealing with enormous amounts of freely available public data from many disparate sources (online discussion forums, source code directories, bug reports, OSS Web portals, etc.). Consequently, these data are being discovered, gathered, analyzed, and used to support multidisciplinary research. However at present, no means exist for assembling these data under common access points and frameworks for comparative, longitudinal, and collaborative research across disciplines. Gathering and maintaining large F/OSS data collections reliably and making them usable present several research challenges. For example, current projects usually rely on direct access to, and mining of raw data from groups that generate it, and both of these methods require unique effort for each new corpus, or even for updating existing corpora. In this paper we identify several common needs and critical factors in F/OSS empirical research across disciplines, and suggest orientations and recommendations for the design of a shared research infrastructure for multi-disciplinary research into F/OSS.

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May 27, 2014